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A hockey pool is a variant of ice hockey in which the participants (called "owners") each draft or acquire a team of real-life NHL players and then score points based on those players' statistical performance on the ice. It is a simpler and less involved version of fantasy hockey. It is frequently used as the basis of a hockey betting pool.
How to Play
While each pool generally maintains its own rules and regulations, usually defined by the contestants themselves, there are a few constants. Generally, each participant in a pool selects a team of players drawn from current pros. Throughout the season, their statistics are tracked, and the pool winner is the person whose team has the most points at the end of the season.
The most common scoring scheme is simply:
Some pools offer additional scoring based on the player's position (such as points for a goaltender victory) or skill level (such as points for penalties earned by an enforcer). Other pools have much higher levels of complexity, taking into account defensive statistics and +/-. When management of the participant's roster is required (i.e., activating certain players), this type of pool is often referred to as fantasy hockey.
Types of Games
There are two basic kinds of hockey pools: draft and non-draft. In a draft pool, no player can be held by more than one participant. All of the pool participants take turns drafting their players. (The drafts are usually held in serpentine fashion; that is, the team picking first in the odd rounds will pick last in the even rounds.) This type of pool requires considerable in-depth knowledge of players beyond the top tier of NHL stars.
In a non-draft pool, everyone simply picks a set number of players. Thus, multiple participants can have the same player among their set roster.
One variant of a non-draft pool is a "box-style" pool, where players of a similar caliber (i.e., forwards, defencemen, superstars, rookies) are grouped together and a fixed number of players are selected from each group or box.
Running a Hockey Pool
For a typical hockey pool, there are hundreds of statistical updates occurring every night. Updating statistics accurately and on a timely basis is usually handled by hockey pool software or via an online hockey pool manager.